H. G. Wells' Food of the Gods
Writer/director/producer/visual effects designer Bert I Gordon is living proof that one can be a jack of all trades and master of none. Despite Gordon’s obvious shortcomings there is a certain infectious enthusiasm to many of his films - especially his science-fiction efforts of the 1950’s. How can one not enjoy the absurd prospect of giant grasshoppers in the ludicrous Beginning of the End (1957), the odd poignancy of The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) and the expectation of poorly realised mutant spiders in Earth vs. the Spider (1958)? As with many science-fiction films of the 1950’s the best thing about Gordon’s films were the titles. Nevertheless he managed to deliver distraction and entertainment, that is until Village of the Giants (1965) when his brand of gigantism (he also did a little people film - the awful Attack of the Puppet People ) reached an apex of stupidity and boredom. Against the run of technology Gordon persisted with his visual effects, and more importantly persisted with the themes inherent in the subject of mutation. His science-fiction/horror efforts forming an interesting self-contained universe that might respond well to the auteur theory. In the late 1970’s he returned to his favoured landscape with The Food of the Gods (1976) and Empire of the Ants (1977), two films which took advantage of the ‘Revolt of Nature’ impulse that had been re-popularised in the wake of Jaws (1975).
© Shaun Anderson 2011